Pandemic Express - Zombie Escape


Run for your life, catch the train to escape from the swarm of infected in this zombie escape game from TALLBOYS and tinyBuild.

On the main menu screen, you’ll find in the top left corner, Warm Up; this is for you to familiarise yourself with the game. Here you can run about a map, find guns dotted around the place and take a train ride, just as you may do when in a proper game, although there’s no infected chasing after you so you can take in the sights if you wish.

Once you’ve had enough with warming up, head back to the main menu and at the side of Warm Up there’s Escape. This is the main game mode currently, selecting this will take you to a server where you’ll meet other players. A game doesn’t start until there are thirty people on the server, which doesn’t take very long to populate.

Upon joining a server you’ll find yourself along with everyone else confined within a train station, iron fences stop you from exiting the area. Once there’s enough players a countdown will begin and the game will start, however, you’re still trapped within the station and somewhere within lurks an infected. Soon the gates will open, and everyone scatters in all directions, hoping that they haven’t been turned or have an infected hot on their tail.

In escape game mode, you need to escape on the train which makes its way around the map. If you can ride the train and survive until the train reaches its final stop, then you’ll win the game for the humans. If the infected infect all the humans before they reach the last stop, then they’ll win. Trying to outrun the infected won’t get you far but luckily scattered here and there are some guns to help protect yourself.

Looking around your surroundings you can see markers and the distance between you and things like the train, air drops or infected nests. Just beware as you run to try and collect a gun, it’s going to become a hot spot for the infected knowing that you’re going to need a weapon if you’re going to have any chance of escape. Any humans which are spotted by the infected will also become marked so that other infected can see them. As an infected, the humans are marked by red triangles and distance from you. As a human, other humans will be indicated by white circles, although take this with a pinch of salt as everything isn’t always as it seems.

While humans have guns to protect them which can send and infected flying backwards and if shot enough times can be killed. The infected have no weapons to use and will have to use melee to infect a human, but you will have use of some perk-type bonus. These can be chosen upon respawning; you can’t choose these straight away and I think they become available once the train gets underway.

There are two options currently, Bomb or Invisibility, which will last for ten seconds once activated. Playing as an infected, you can pick up a bomb and activate it; the bomb will explode once the time runs down to zero. This will damage or push away anyone within its blast radius, which is handy for getting humans off a train. You must get the timing right otherwise one shot from a human and you’ll go flying backwards and explode far away from them.

Around the map you’ll find tall buildings and cables which you can climb or run about on. You can use these to jump off onto the train below, hoping to catch some humans off-guard. Also scattered around the tracks are mattresses which will spring you higher into the air. You can double jump so you can get that extra bit of height if needed, and you can also go prone and slide along the ground. There are some oil-type barrels around the map which you can carry and throw; these will explode upon impact.

Once either the humans escape or the infected swarm everyone the game ends, you’ll then be taken to the Results screen. Here it shows you how well you did: zombies killed, headshots, the length of time you spent as a human, along with any experience points collected and your current level.

There are some new game modes in the pipeline for the future, like Barge, Cable Car and one I believe may be called Rocket. These game modes are currently locked but can be found in the top left corner beside Warm Up and Escape. Also, on the main menu screen are Lucky Items and Customisation which are currently locked but coming soon. Leaderboards for the top fifteen Humans and Swarm players, your Profile and Invite Friends can also be found on the main menu screen. The weekend of 25th May they ran the Mimic game mode where everyone looked like Humans which had you looking over your shoulder at everyone as you couldn’t trust anyone.

In the options you’ll find the Game Settings; Mouse and Gamepad Sensitivity, Invert Mouse, Invert Gamepad, Voice and Hud Hide. Graphic Settings; Resolution, Full Screen, V-Sync, Show FPS On/Off options, Quality; Low to Very High, FOV (25 to 199) and Advanced. In Advanced you’ll find On/Off options for Global Illumination, SSDO, Shadows and Grass along with Motion Blur (None, Simple or Full Blur) and Streaming Distance. Some of these options are currently experimental so they may change some time in the future. The Sound Settings consist of Music, Sound, Voice and Emoji.

The game is in Early Access so it’s a little rough around the edges and more game modes and maps are needed. The game is pretty good fun and with friends it could be even better. I haven’t had much luck so far as a human, I’ve been infected before I’ve managed to grab a weapon. As an infected I think that when you get shot, you’re sent back a bit too far and maybe die a little too easily. I don’t seem to be as fast as others at times. However, it’s still good fun play and I look forward to seeing how the game develops in the future.

I did have a problem with the graphics - when I set them to very high, walls (sausages), hills etcetera were non-existent. After posting in the forum about the problem the developer soon replied and sorted the problem out and I haven’t had any problems since.

Review written by Piston Smashed™ for!


+ Fun game
+ Nice graphics
+ Active developers


- Needs more game modes, maps
- No Achievements
- No cards

Review Summary

Don’t wait around buying a ticket for the train … RUN YOU FOOLS!! RUN!!!

Share this review!

Zeepond Rating: 7/10